**Minor Spoilers ahead**
The Punisher is the latest Marvel comic book hero to appear on Netflix. The big question, after Frank Castle’s (Jon Bernthal) introduction in Daredevil Season 2 and the less than stellar Iron Fist, is whether or not The Punisher would restore the Marvel brand we first saw in Daredevil, Season One? After watching the first three episodes of The Punisher, I can honestly state that Marvel has redeemed itself.
The first episode begins with Frank finishing his mission to kill those men who were responsible for the death of his family. The series then delves into the greater conspiracy that killed Frank’s family and how Frank’s new partner, David Lieberman (Ebon Moss-Bachra), is involved. Deborah Ann Woll returns as Karen Page, who only wants Frank to stay alive. We meet Frank’s former comrade in arms, Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) and Curtis Hoyle (Jason R. Moore). There is also a Homeland Security agent, Dinah Nadani (Amber Rose Revah) who is investigating the massive conspiracy that started with the death of an innocent civilian in Afghanistan with whom she had an intimate relationship. Against this backdrop, The Punisher shows why Frank Castle is the Punisher
The action sequences are truly amazing. They bring back the excitement that all the fans felt after watching the first season of Daredevil. There is plenty of exciting and brutal fight scenes with enough gore for the most jaded fan. However, without good writing, the best action sequences in the world become boring.
Fortunately, the writing is superb. The dialogue is tight, poignant, and adult. All of the characters, who inhabit this world of The Punisher, live with the serious and deadly consequences of their actions while the line between good and evil changes constantly.
This series is helped by the work of the incredible actors who breathe life into these complex, multidimensional characters. The Punisher has gathered an all star cast from some of the best shows in the science fiction, comic, and fantasy genres.
- Jon Bernthal (Frank Castle) – The Walking Dead
- Ben Barnes (Billy Russo) – Westworld
- Amber Rose Revah (Dinah Nadani) – Emerald City
- Ebon Moss-Bachra (David Lieberman) – Person of Interest
- Jason R. Moore (Curtis Hoyle) – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
- Daniel Webster (Lewis Walcott) – 11.22.63
- Deborah Ann Woll (Karen Page) – Daredevil, True Blood
- Shoreh Agdashloo (Farah Madani) – The Expanse
- Jaime Ray Newman (Sarah Lieberman) – Bates Motel
- Paul Schulze (Rawlins) – Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
With simple gestures and nuanced facial expressions, these talented actors give depth and poignancy to the story. Whether the character is a grieving widow, a seedy CIA analyst, a caring mother, a soldier suffering severe PTSD, or just people caught in a web of governmental deceit, we believe that their pain and confusion is real.
This is the true Punisher where there is vigilante justice that is both satisfying and brutally bloody. Finally, Marvel has given us the “real” Punisher. It is a breath of fresh, bloody air. This is not your parent’s Punisher.
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